Scientists discover a huge LAKE hidden under the surface of Mars

Scientists have discovered a huge reservoir of liquid water hidden under the surface of Mars , that could help to unravel the mysterious past of the red planet.

Researchers from the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica in Bologna discovered the lake hidden under polar ice caps on Mars.

Using the an instrument on board the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft, the researchers sent radar pulses through the ice caps.

By analysing how the radio waves reflected back to the spacecraft, the team was able to establish what lay beneath.

The researchers used radar waves to detect the water on Mars

Their results revealed that it was a reservoir of water, measuring 20 kilometres across.

The team believes that the temperature of the water is below freezing, but despite this, it is still liquid.

This is thanks to the presence of salts of magnesium, calcium, and sodium – known to be present in Martian rocks – which lower the melting point, allowing the lake to remain liquid.

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The researchers hope their discovery could shed light on the mysterious history of the planet.

In an accompanying analysis, Anja Diez from the Norwegian Polar Institute, said: “Changes in ice flow owing to water at the base can change the appearance of these englacial layers; this needs to be considered when reconstructing their age.

“Analyzing these englacial reflectors, taking the new findings of liquid water below the [ice caps] into account, can therefore help unravel the climate history of Mars.”

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